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Toll rises to 126 from heavy rains in Brazil

Rio De Janeiro : The death toll from heavy rains last week in the Brazilian city of Recife and its metropolitan area has risen to 126, with two people still missing, the government of the northeastern state of Pernambuco said.At least 9,302 people have been driven from their homes due to rains that caused major floods and landslides in Recife, burying dozens of hillside houses and causing most of the deaths, Xinhua news agency reported. It is the worst tragedy to occur in Pernambuco since the start of the 21st century and the second worst in the state’s history, after the May 1966 flooding caused the Capibaribe river to overflow leaving 175 dead.

Firefighters and army soldiers are working to recover the bodies of the two missing victims with the help of trained rescue dogs. A total of 31 municipalities in Pernambuco have declared a state of emergency due to the rains, while 51 towns suffered some type of damage. The federal government has announced it will allocate some $200 million to rebuild affected areas. Rains also affected the states of Sergipe, Alagoas, Paraiba and Rio Grande do Norte, in the northeast region of Brazil. In Alagoas, four people died and nearly 12,000 remain homeless.




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